Pregnant Woman, Three Others Killed in Blazes

Four people were killed, including a 22-year-old pregnant woman, in two separate fires in Kampot province and Phnom Penh on Sun-day and Monday, police said.

Monh Dany, who was eight months pregnant, and her housemaid Chhay Somany, 15, died in a fire in their house in Touk Meas village Sunday night, Banteay Me-as deputy district chief Khoeurn Sokhan said. A third victim from the fire, Monh Noeu, 16, died from burn injuries shortly after arriving at Kampot referral hospital, he said.

The fire broke out around midnight at the front of the house making it impossible for the three to flee, as there was no back door, Khoeurn Sokhan said.

“The victims could not leave and just shouted for help,” he said, ad-ding that police officers and villagers had to smash through a back wall in order to rescue the victims, but that two of them had al-ready passed away.

Khoeurn Sokhan added that pol-ice do not know what caused the fire.

Phnom Penh Municipal Fire Chief Neth Vantha said a man in his 30s died in a fire in his house in Toul Svay Prey I commune, Cham-kar Mon district, after a suicide attempt early Monday morning. “The victim was previously a rich person; then his business went bankrupt,” Neth Vantha said. The fire did not spread, as firefighters arrived on time, he said, adding that the victim, Ngian Thy, had tried blow up four gas canisters but failed. The man’s two nephews were able to flee safely, he added.

So far this year, there have been 21 fires in Phnom Penh, most of which were caused by bad electrical wiring, though carelessness on the part of homeowners has also played a role, Neth Vantha said. Last year a total of 46 fires broke out in the capital and 375 homes were destroyed, but no one was killed or injured, he added.

Municipal Governor Kep Chuk-tema said Monday that authorities should conduct investigations into the cause of fires and prosecute any homeowners who cause fires by their own negligence, as they cause damage to other people’s property. “Abroad it’s a crime,” the governor said, referring to fires caused by negligence.


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